Saturday, October 18, 2014

10-18-14 – Riding Shotgun – Gravy Days And Other Ramblings-

I had a couple “gravy” days early in the week. It’s nice to get deliveries to small towns, or some places out in the country; there’s more actual driving and less time loading and unloading. It’s especially relaxing if part (but not all) of that time is spent on a four-lane, so I can set the cruise and move my legs to different positions. That keeps me from getting so stiff from being too long “in the saddle.” Even my current main job of hauling to the dump sort of falls under that category. The first couple days, though, I delivered to small towns and such, as the flow of concrete to the dump was temporarily interrupted.

One thing I notice even on good days, though, is that fewer and fewer folks are kind to other drivers. I think many people are so self-absorbed that they don’t even realize how their manners (or lack of them) affect others. On a stretch of four-lane over in Ohio, a lot of folks seem to like cruising along in the fast lane, even if no-one is in the other lane. Most probably don’t realize that they are keeping folks from entering the highway from the opposite side and fading into the slow lane when it’s clear, or maybe they just don’t care.

Closer to home, another section of four-lane has several other highways intersecting it in very few miles. Many people shoot up the ramps and expect you to get out of their way. They forget that they’re fading onto YOUR lane, not the other way around. Often, some other bozo is tooling along in the fast lane again, and won’t LET you fade over to allow for the new arrivals. Even worse, are those who you DO get over for who then match your speed exactly and won’t let you back into the lane that you just vacated to be nice to THEM. Some are simply too stupid to realize what they’re doing. Others have an obvious attitude that you got out of their way once, so you can darn well do it again.

Even some truck drivers are getting like that anymore. That’s sort of disappointing, as they used to have better manners than the average motorist. Actually, they still do, but not by much. I think it’s the influx of young drivers that causing the problem among truckers, though you’ll find a few stinkers in every occupation. For those who don’t know, regular motorists are often referred to disparagingly by truck drivers as “four-wheelers,” due to the fact that most of them live in complete ignorance of what a pain they are to other people, even themselves.

I went to the grand metropolis of Centerville, West Virginia this week in my oilfield travels. I kept hearing of going to or through Centerville, but though I’d been out Route 18 several times lately, I’d never seen it. I thought maybe they were meaning Center Point, over on Route 23. It turns out that there’s no sign along the road, and you have to know just where to turn. After going a couple hundred yards up Klondike Run Road, you come to the little community that was probably thriving at one time.

No doubt plans were made and dreams dreamed there, but it looks pretty much like a tiny ghost town today, as only a few homes appear lived in. Even some of the fairly new-looking homes sit there with no curtains and no indication of life within. The church has a “no trespassing” sign on it and construction tools and machinery lying about like some fly-by-night builder is using it for storage. Its one gas station appears to have closed years ago, though there’s a newer gas station/quick shop not far down the main road.

 We went up Wheeler’s Run Road from there, on a piece of asphalt ribbon barely wide enough to keep our trucks on. At the end of the pavement, we dumped our stone at a well-site and came back down the hollow. Halfway down, some industrious state road worker had put up a “narrow road” sign. I figure anyone who’s been up to the end of the pavement, and is halfway back, probably already knows that; wouldn’t you think?

On a more positive note, I think I saw the smallest Mail Pouch barn I know of, and also and the longest one I remember seeing. One is near the place where I pick up the concrete. The other is a couple counties away, out in oil country. I would have gotten a photo of them already, but my camera battery was dead that day. Maybe next time! © 2014


Chickenmom said...

Driving used to be fun - remember Sunday outings? Anyone caught using their hand held cellphone should loose their license.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I am mostly on two lane around here and keep getting behind people who drive 35-40 on 55mph roads and of course they eventually come to a complete stop even when nobody is coming and then turn left. You can bet that none of them are trucks!

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm not sure I'd go quite that far for those just talking, Cm, but those who text are courting the death of themselves and others.

I noticed you tailgaiting me, SF! lol

Ralph Goff said...

On a four lane the left is for passing only around here. Although there are a few who ignore that rule and are known by some as "left lane bandits". Thankfully I am usually on gravel or two lane blacktop.

Gorges Smythe said...

It's the same here on our interstates, Ralph, and that's the general rule for our limited access highways (which I was meaning) However, since there are regular style intersections on a limited access highway (instead of ramps), the rules are a bit more lenient.